H.R. Pufnstuf Plots Comeback. H.R. from Bad Brains Plots Puffin' Stuff.
A Nightmare in Indy: Andrew’s Revenge
It’s Halloween season, or as the NFL refers to it, Breast Cancer Awareness month. Mad props to the NFL for repping such a cause. Seriously, I’m not being sarcastic. The rest of this column from here on out: yes, sarcasm.
This season always brings with it a bunch horror flicks on low-grade movie channels like IFC. I embraced a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon the other night on said station. When a Nightmare is on TV, I put on a show I actually want to watch and then flip back and forth in hopes of a kill scene. I was lucky enough to catch my favorite one the other night while watching A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Freddy whopping ass on a pool party.
Reminds me of how I reacted when someone threw me in a pool at a party with my Motorola Razor phone back in ’99.
At its core, the Nightmare franchise is basically a revenge flick. Krueger is hurting the world that hurt him. In an egregious manner, yes. But, you know, he who is always rational can cast the first stone.
I’m getting the same vibe from this week’s upcoming Colts/Patriots match. Of course, it’s on Sunday night. Of course, the media is playing up the screw job that occurred in last year's AFC Championship game. Of course, all signs point to the injured Andrew Luck returning in hopes of exacting his revenge for him, his coach and his team.
Luck is the good guy, but could we finally see a vengeful bad boy streak come out of him? The Indy fans, usually among the most docile and respectful crowds in football, will be filled with as much piss and vinegar as humanly possible for them (half of the piss and vinegar the Philadelphia Eagles have on their bye week).
Brady has owned Luck’s Colts since forever. He’s the closest thing they have to a villain in their lives. This will be a season-defining win or loss for the Colts. They were LUCKY (pun intended) to tread water and get a win last week from Matt Hasselbeck. They sit at 3-2 in a very tuff AFC this year. From what we’ve seen from Luck, he’s been spotty at best, and not playing like himself. He’s been thrown under the bus for that, but a win here will wipe all of those doubts away from the naysayers, and the Colts will be able to start fresh with the confidence they initially had entering the season.
I actually see the Colts pulling this one out. The Pats don’t really need this win. I’ve seen their schedule coming up. They’ll easily rip off five out of the next six games.
Shout-out to my friends at Kuma's Corner in Chicago for opening an Indy location just down the street from Lucas Oil Stadium that I’m sure will serve as a rallying point for the proceedings this week.
Also, shout-out to one of my favorite actresses and Nightmare alum, Patricia Arquette, for having the ability to rock the same badass soliloquy at the age of 16 that she currently rocks as an Oscar-winning 47-year-old.
Still the Bacon
Now for a recap of last week, starting with the most compelling football drive I’ve seen all season, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Stillers.
There was 2:55 left on the clock with San Diego up 30 to 27. The ball was kicked off by San Diego. The kickoff went through the back of the end zone, which should have stopped the clock. I have no fucking idea why the clock didn’t stop, but an extra 18 seconds ran off. Fast forward another two-plus minutes and the Stillers are on the goal line with five seconds left. Just enough time to run one more play, but not enough for two (something those extra 18 seconds would have granted them).
The drive leading up to this possession had the feel of a season-defining drive for the team. Michael Vick shot up the gut for a 30+ yard run, putting them in tying field goal range. Vintage Vick. He then threw a strike to ol' reliable Heath Miller to get down to the one-yard line.
So, with five seconds left, you kick the field goal to send it to overtime, right? Wrong.
“We got to run the football, man, we’ve got Le'Veon Bell,” said Mike Tomlin in his post game press conference, and that’s exactly what they did.
I quickly would like to address Ben Roethlisberger’s positive presence in this game. He was on the sidelines assistant-coaching the whole game with a headset on (which may have actually been hooked up). Honestly, if I had to pick a current starting QB that I think would make a great NFL coach, I’d probably pick Peyton Manning. However, if I had to pick a runner-up, I’d pick Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, if I were to pick a second runner-up, I’d guess I’d pick Roethlisberger. Now, we all know that in all sports, A-list players DO NOT become coaches after their career is over. They start spending the millions they’ve made over the years and actually enjoy their lives. But is this trend changing? Future Hall of Famer Don Mattingly is the manager of the Los Angles Dodgers. Future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd is the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. So, will we get an A-lister to embrace NFL coaching after his career is done? Could it be Ben?
The one-yard line walk-off play-call was insane. Pittsburgh lined up in the wildcat formation with Vick lined up at WR andBell taking the direct snap. Bell ran left and BARELY got in. Frankly, he shouldn’t have got in. His knee went down and, lucky for him, rested atop a defenders leg before touching the ground.
Just an awesome win for the Stillers, and yet another loss that will send Philip Rivers in to a mental institution before season’s end.
Lastly, two weeks in a row the refs fucked something up significant in the final two minutes on Monday night. It’s almost like Monday Night Football is the last class on a Friday afternoon in high school. The teacher is trying to teach you something significant before the bell rings, which is sure to be on the test. You know the kids who mentally check out and just start staring at the clock, waiting for the bell to ring? Those were all my friends (and me) in high school. KIT AND HAGS, NFL Refs.
Is That Safety Made Out of … WOOD?
It took a year and five weeks, but finally a Full House reference in this column.
My Super Bowl pick Broncos won again this week. A pseudo-hard-fought battle with the Oakland Raiders. If you’re a Raiders fan, get ready for the battle of the century after the bye week. You head to San Diego to face the California team you’ll probably be sharing a locker room with in L.A. soon. All roommates grow to hate each other, and it’ll probably start with this match.
I often give props to Peyton Manning for being the smartest veteran player in the league on the offensive side of the ball. What I don’t often mention is the defensive side of the ball's answer to Peyton, safety Charles Woodson. He picked off Manning twice this past Sunday.
Manning responded in a humorous fashion in the post-game press conference with, “It offsets the two touchdowns I threw on him last year.” Peyton and Charles have history. Like Jake Gyllenhaal/Taylor Swift history (virginity-taking). They finished one and two in the 1997 Heisman trophy voting (Woodson won). Randy Moss, who I feel is the second-greatest WR of all time, came in fourth in the voting. Yet another reason for us to hate Ryan Leaf.
Woodson is probably pound for pound the greatest defensive player over the last 15 years in the NFL. My main argument behind this is based on the fact that he’s played for the last 15 and is STILL a force. He will go down as one of the greatest Raiders of all time. I rarely give props to the Packers, but I’m so glad that Woodson was on the 2010 Championship team, adding much needed validation to his career. Nothing bums me out more than a legendary player not winning a championship. I think about Dan Marino a lot. I’ve spent countless hours crying over the Charles Barkleys, Reggie Millers, and Patrick Ewings of the '90s.
As for Peyton’s two picks and his play thus far, I remain unworried for the Broncos. Manning’s velocity has leveled off, that’s for sure. He also has been less accurate than normal. However, I’ve noticed that Peyton’s play, or lack thereof, has actually ignited the Broncos defense. They’re legit and make opportune plays they wouldn’t have made a year ago. Basically the “Peyton WILL bail us out” mentality is over. Now they have a “Peyton CAN bail us out” mentality. The old “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” mantra.
I’m eager to point out this week that it appears Bengals QB Andy Dalton has turned a corner. He is now a top QB that demands the respect of defenses. If you don’t give him that respect, he’ll tear you up. Just ask Seattle’s D, who Dalton torched for 352 yards and two TDs this week. How is this happening? Well, for starters, Dalton is using all his receivers. He had four receivers with 60+ yards receiving this past week. He’s finally starting to use TE Tyler Eifert properly, who had two touchdowns in this game. A key stat in this game is time of possession. The Bengals had 10 more minutes with the ball than the Seahawks. This points to slow and methodical drives that wear down an opposing D. If they look in their rearview mirror, they’ll see no one except a distant Stillers Mad Max: Fury Road style vehicle. If they win the games they should, starting with Buffalo this week, they’ll at least win the division easily, but probably still wont get a first round bye. We all know those belong to Brady and Manning.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden is having a tough time of it. The Cowboys' banged-up offense put up three points this week against the Pats. They have not won since Tony Romo was injured a few weeks ago. Speaking of not winning, Weeden hasn’t won a game as a starting QB since week 14 of the 2012 season. Starting many games since entering the league in said year, he has only won four games as a starter ever. QBs often get saddled with the label of not being able to win “The Big Game.” Tony Romo is one of those QBs. In Weeden’s case, he can’t win “A Game.” Much different and way worse. The Cowboys have a bye this week and are turning to recently signed backup Matt Cassel to presumably carry the load from here. Cassel CAN win ball games. He won games in New England, that’s for damn sure, and won a couple in KC and Minnesota as well. Not a lot, but a few.
This just goes to show you that society often forgives the blonde and brunette, but never the redhead. You’re on a short leash. Prove your worth or end up in an orphanage being adopted by John Ritter.
Working Hardy, or Hardy Working?
Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy returned to action this week after a suspension for domestic abuse on his girlfriend. I guess we have to give Hardy props for creativity on his abusive suspension. The most noted incident in the report included him tossing his girlfriend across the room onto a pile of automatic weapons. Hey, at least they weren’t bear traps.
Jesus, Greg Hardy is an asshole. And just like any full-fledged American asshole, he can’t leave well enough alone. Like when O.J. wrote that book about if he “actually” killed his wife, how he would have done it. Greg Hardy in a hard-hitting six-minute press conference this past week couldn’t help but crowbarring in a sexist comment. When asked about seeing Tom Brady this past weekend, Hardy replied, "I love seeing Tom Brady, he's cool as crap. Have you seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game. I hope her sister comes to the game, all her friends come to the game.”
In Hardy’s defense, “crap” is cool. And believe me, we all love seeing Gisele. However, Hardy has lost all his female commenting privileges for the rest of his life with his abysmal transgressions, unless he goes to jail, at which point said privileges would be reinstated.
Society hates Greg Hardy. I hate Greg Hardy. Apparently, this by proxy makes me a member of society, and I’m cool with that.
Leave my NFL now.
Are You There, NFL Fans With Erectile Dysfunction, It’s Me, God.
“If you guys need a pill to help you out while looking at hot older woman in a generic and arbitrary football jersey, I don’t know what to tell you.”
God: Editor’s Take
Interesting comment by God this week.
Between you and me, I know a total psychopath I grew up with who has a habit of having his wife wear his favorite football jersey while in a certain sexual position. Wow, am I glad no woman read this column except my mother, grandmother, a nun at my local parish (who happens to be friends with Charles Tillman), and my imaginary girlfriend, who happens to be a porn star.
Speaking of weird NFL-related commercials, why would Miller Lite cast the bad guy in this year’s True Detective as the guy who sells Troy Aikman beer in the Troy Aikman beer commercial?
Do they want us to be afraid of drinking Miller Lite even more than we already are? I guess Michelob should embrace the Nazi bastard from Sons of Anarchy to answer this.
This Sub’s for You
And finally this week, the Subway franchise had another one of its textbook bad weeks.
It started with a naked woman in Anchorage, AK destroying a Subway restaurant while on a drug I’ve never heard of called “Spice.” I’m assuming it’s in the Bathsalt family?
Then in Lincoln City, Oregon, a man found a dead mouse in his sandwich.
I mean, we all know the reason for Subway’s bad luck is their lack of a legit spokesperson.
Sort of a catch on.
Pick of the Week
San Deigo + 9 1/2 at Green Bay